In consultation with NIH leadership, NIDCR conducts long- and short-term program planning to identify Institute priorities. These efforts rely on information from several sources and include input from a broad range of key stakeholders including the extramural scientific community, patient advocacy and professional organizations, the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council and Board of Scientific Counselors, other NIH Institutes and Centers, other Federal agencies, industry, and ad hoc advisory groups. The Institute also obtains input from participants at conferences and workshops that review emerging scientific opportunities, identify public health concerns, and provide state-of-the-science assessments. NIDCR conducts its planning and priority setting within a larger context that considers input from NIH, the Department of Health and Human Services, Congress and the Administration, and external peer review.
The 2014-2019 NIDCR strategic planning process gathered public and stakeholder input about prospective activities, areas of research emphasis, future research approaches, needs, and opportunities. NIDCR obtained this input in several ways, through:
- A series of individual and group meetings with NIDCR staff to obtain input on NIDCR goals, opportunities, and priorities;
- Presentations and discussions during National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council meetings;
- A presentation and discussion by the NIDCR Director at the American Association for Dental Research Boston chapter meeting (December 2012);
- A presentation and discussion on “National Oral Health Surveillance: Gaps, Priorities and Future Strategies” at the EpiForum held during the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Seattle, Washington (March 2013);
- A presentation and discussion on “Training the Next Generation of Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Researchers” at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Seattle, Washington (March 2013);
- An open-forum strategic plan listening session—augmented by informal conversations—at the International Association for Dental Research meeting in Seattle, Washington (March 2013);
- A meeting with leaders of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, and the American Board of Dental Public Health at the National Oral Health Conference in Huntsville, Alabama (April 2013);
- An open-forum conference with NIDCR patient advocate organization representatives (April 2013);
- A day-long NIDCR Bidirectional Research Roundtable Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland (June 2013);
- A day-long NIDCR Oral Health Disparities Roundtable Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland (June 2013);
- 491 online responses from 108 individuals and organizations to six strategic planning questions posted on the NIDCR website between August and September 2013; and
- Public comments obtained through online posting of the draft Strategic Plan (January 2014).
The NIDCR Strategic Planning Steering Committee contributed extensively and provided direction for the development of the plan. NIDCR is indebted to Dr. Alison Davis and Mr. Robert Berendt and to all who provided comments and suggestions through these efforts, which were vital to the development of a workable, dynamic, and responsive 2014-2019 NIDCR Strategic Plan.